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Andries Pretorius

Hi Andries, when did you arrive in the Netherlands?
I arrived on April 1st 2022. So it has been a little over 2 years now.

How did you experience the first few months in the Netherlands?
The first few months were really busy, it was mostly just getting everything set up in the apartment and trying to get into a routine in a new country. I also bought a bicycle during this time when I realized that it was one of the main modes of transport in the Netherlands.

Does it feel like home?
At the moment the Netherlands doesn’t feel like home yet, I think it is mostly because I am not yet a citizen of the Netherlands. But I am truly enjoying living and working here in the Netherlands and I am planning on applying for citizenship as soon as I can.

Do you still live in the same house as in the beginning?
Not anymore. When I first arrived I was living in an apartment in Barneveld. Earlier this year (2024) I moved to an apartment in Amersfoort that is closer to where I work. This is a lot better since I can now cycle the 5km to work on the days I need to be at the office, reducing my travel time by quite a bit.

How was it to learn the language? Was it easier or harder than expected?
It was a bit of a combination of both. There is a lot of overlap with Afrikaans which makes Dutch easy to learn but also makes learning the correct pronunciation and structuring of words a bit difficult sometimes. But overall the experience of learning the language has been fun.

What do you miss most about South Africa?
I definitely miss my family and friends the most, especially going to a local pub and having a few drinks with them. Also biltong and a proper braai.

What appeals to you most in the Netherlands?
Mostly the fact that you can get almost anywhere in the Netherlands by bicycle or public transport and that you don’t really need a car to get around most of the Netherlands. I also enjoy walking trough the city centers on weekends and the having a drink next to a canal or in a square and just enjoying the atmosphere of the city.